The Philadelphia Athletics were the first to call this ballpark home (photo above from 1908), when they came to New Orleans in 1908 to train in the brand new Pelican Stadium. The A's brought 5 future Hall of Famers to Pelican Stadium including, Eddie Plank, "Home Run" Baker, Eddie Collins, Jimmy Collins and Chief Bender… all managed by the infamous Connie Mack. The A's would call this ballpark home for 2 seasons, while the Southern Association would
host the Double-A New Orleans Pelicans here at Pelican Stadium. The Pelicans were a competitive team coming in 2nd place with 76 wins in 1908 and 73 wins in 1909, but it was in 1910 when they made their biggest splash. Much of this was due to their future superstar player with the unusual nickname. "Shoeless Joe Jackson" took the field in his 3rd and final Minor League season here in New Orleans after playing in Savannah the season before. Shoeless Joe hit a very impressive .354 with 18 2B, 19 3B and 2 HR at Pelican Stadium before being recalled to the Cleveland Indians where he hit .387 with 2 2B, 5 3B and a homer to finish up the 1910 season. By 1911, Shoeless Joe was a full time Major Leaguer and at the age of 23, he would hit a fantastic .408 with 34 2B, 19 2B, 7 HR and 41 steals. He would follow that up with a .395 season in 1912 with 33 2B, 26 3B and 90 RBI. Shoeless Joe would unfortunately be known more for his infamous collusion with other White Sox (dubbed the Black Sox) players to throw the 1920 World Series. In this final infamous season in the majors, Shoeless Joe hit 42 2B, 20 3B, 12 HR and 121 RBI's while batting .382 with an OPS of 1.033… in what should have been a truly magical season. Due to his permanent ban from baseball following the World Series, Shoeless Joe was never inducted into the Hall of Fame. Shoeless Joe however wasn't the only great player on the Pelicans that season. On the mound, Otto Hess (25-9) and Pat Paige (24-14) provided an amazing 1-2 punch in the starting rotation. The Pelicans would finish the season at 87-53 on the year taking home their first Championship season to Pelican Park.